Two 2019 REACH Scholars honored at ceremony

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From Coweta County Schools Press Release

Two Coweta County School System students became the newest Coweta recipients of the Georgia REACH Scholarship, at a signing ceremony on October 22.

Matthew Mack-Walls from Smokey Road Middle School and Britney MacFarlane of Lee Middle School signed commitments during a ceremony at the Coweta County School System’s Central Office.

The two middle school students pledged to maintain good student records and graduate from high school. When they do, they are eligible for a $10,000 scholarship toward attending a Georgia HOPE Scholarship-eligible college or university.

Mack-Walls and MacFarlane were joined by school family members, community dignitaries and school officials, at the Tuesday ceremony, as they pledged to maintain high standards throughout their upcoming high school career.

Coweta County Superintendent Steve Barker thanked the students “for setting yourself apart… by your hard work, your dedication, and your commitment to the right things.” Barker also thanked many donors and program supporters in attendance for making student success a priority, and added that the REACH program “is an effort to change lives.”

The two students join 10 other Coweta County REACH scholars who have been selected since the scholarship program was launched in in Coweta in 2015.

REACH is a needs-based mentoring and scholarship program started in 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal, as a part of his Complete College Georgia initiative. REACH is designed to ensure that academically promising students have the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school and complete college.

In Coweta County, local donors Bob and Millie Coggin, Steve and Marie Swope, and the Edgar B. Hollis Foundation combine funding with state funds provided through the Georgia Student Finance Commission for the scholarships. The Patrons of the Centre work with the school system to manage the program.

REACH scholars who successfully meet all requirements through graduation with a $10,000 scholarship which is often matched or even double-matched by HOPE-eligible colleges or universities the students attend.

Both students are also paired with mentors who will help them succeed as they start high school and begin work towards graduation next year. The program is overseen by Assistant Superintendent Marc Guy.

The students’ current middle school and high school principals also attended Tuesday’s ceremony, along with family members and Coweta’s 10 other REACH scholars. The school system’s 1st two REACH scholars – Desiree Herrera and Tomaiya Stafford – are now seniors at East Coweta High School, and will be the first scholarship selectees to graduate in this coming year.

Photo: Coweta County School System has 12 REACH Scholars who have been selected since the program began in 2015, including the the addition of the two this year.  Britney MacFarlane and Matthew Mack-Walls, this year’s recipients, are seated above.  They join 10 other REACH scholars, including, left to right, Desiree Herrera, Tomaiya Stafford, Myles Bridges, Malachi Bowen, Colton Eidson, Ashley Diaz Hernandez, and Hailey Kelly (of East Coweta High School), Esmerelda Medorio-Rivera and Kanaya Williams (of Newnan High School) and Sarah Fernandez (of Northgate High School).

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